THE owners of a mozzarella plant are to invest £2 million in a new waste treatment system, partly due to an issue with the current system.
Dairy Partners Ltd said parts of the effluent treatment facility at its creamery in Aberarad, Carmarthenshire, were more than 40 years old.
The site produces mozzarella, and some cream and whey products.
Dairy Partners’ planning application to Carmarthenshire Council said the effluent treatment facility was an essential part of the cheese-making process.
Solid waste is removed from the site by road tanker up to three times a day, while treated wastewater is piped to a discharge point at the River Teifi.
The planning support statement submitted to the authority said the system had encountered a “recent issue” which resulted in the river water quality exceeding limits set by a Natural Resources Wales permit.
It said the issue was identified quickly and that the company took steps to shut off all discharges to the river until the problem was solved.
It meant all liquid waste being taken away by tanker for three months – sometimes at night – at a cost of £30,000 per week.
The new system should cut tanker trips to three or four per week.
The planning statement said: “By replacing this asset with a new and improved system which meets the requirements of best available technology on the market, Dairy Partners have an opportunity to improve the quality of its final effluent which in turn will have a significant (positive) impact on the local environment, not only in the form of water quality at the discharge point but also in the reduction of road tanker movements from the site.”
An environmental report submitted on behalf of Dairy Partners said: “Increased continuous monitoring of the final water will provide assurance of the quality of the water flowing to the river and confirm the effectiveness of the effluent treatment plant.”